Sunday Ads: Another Ripple in the Stream

Written by on May 1, 2016 in Sunday Ads - 1 Comment
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This 1916 ad advertises acreage in a new development called Rocky Ripple (Courtesy Indiana State Museum)

This 1916 ad advertises acreage in a new development called Rocky Ripple   (Courtesy Indiana State Museum)

Business:  American Town Lot Co.

Date of Ad:  April 30, 1916

Location:  North Side, between the White River and the Central Canal between 51st and 54th Streets

Years of Operation: 1914 – 1924

Notable: Indianapolis was growing in the early Twentieth Century. The American Town Lot Company was one of several real estate development companies that would subdivide vacant land and market home sites, so that more people could own that little slice of the American Dream. Aside from Rocky Ripple, the company also developed Drexel Gardens on the west side. To bring in more buyers, they often used gimmicks, like the advertised two-for-one sale and free transportation to building sites.

Additionally:  Many an Indy explorer has gotten lost in Rocky Ripple. The eclectic north side enclave is practically an island in the middle of the city, due to being surrounded by water on all sides. This has brought about a bohemian population who has long been politically active. It began in 1928, when a town board was formed to formally protest the City of Indianapolis’ practice of dumping raw sewage in the White River. Through the years, neighbors have successfully blocked initiatives that would have brought flood walls that would block the view of the river. Many homes are brightly painted and feature artistic displays.

Far from the natural oasis that is Rocky Ripple, the idea for the river side enclave was hatched in this downtown skyscraper that now houses the Hilton Garden Inn.

Far from the natural oasis that is Rocky Ripple, the idea for the riverside enclave was hatched in this downtown skyscraper that now houses the Hilton Garden Inn.

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About the Author

An avid runner who enjoys daily jaunts throughout Indy's historic neighborhoods, Jeff deeply appreciates the detail and workmanship of old architecture. So much so, that he lives downtown in a restored historic building. He also works downtown as a manager of a not-for-profit that promotes globalization throughout Central Indiana. In a past life, Jeff worked in the hospitality industry and may one day pen a book about the ridiculous things people do while staying in hotels. Stay tuned.

One Comment on "Sunday Ads: Another Ripple in the Stream"

  1. Ed Fujawa May 2, 2016 at 3:13 pm · Reply

    Huh, small world! I was browsing the IndyStar online archives and found a similar ad, but with a slightly different design, from 1914 which I posted to my personal Facebook page a few weeks back. The clipping is here: http://indystar.newspapers.com/clip/4874567//

    Of note is that the ad states that the location of Rocky Ripple was on “high ground overlooking White River,” and that is was “located thirty to sixty feet higher than the river.” I think the only thing located 60 feet above the river in RR are the tops of the trees.

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